A500/A518 TCI Shift Kit Installation
DML FAQ : HOWTO : A500/A518 TCI Shift Kit Installation
- Clean Work area - Very Important - Dust, dirt even lint can raise havoc with the Valve body components.
- Lint free rags - Found a bag of them at Parts America.
- Brake Cleaner spray - 2 - 3 Cans to clean Valve body thoroughly after drilling out ports and between channels.
- You'll need a good inch pound torque wrench accurate in the 35 to 75 inch pound range, the clicker type highly reccomended. (difficult to use and see at same time).
- You'll need a 5/16 square head socket to adjust the bands.
- Optional but good idea is to install a drain plug in the tranny pan while it is off, makes it a lot easier if you ever take pan back off.
- Vaseline to coat "o" rings and hold positions while assembling.
- I highly reccomend having the shop manual to refer to while installing. The included instructions are pretty good but I learned a lot by refering to the shop manual and comparing reccomended procedures.
- Drain the oil and removing the tranny pan. Remove dip stick, remove bolts from rear toward the front. Leave a few in and work pan loose and tilt down to allow oil to drain out(need large pan, will probably lose atleast 6 - 8 qts.) when controlled remove last of the bolts and tip down to drain rest of oil.
- I had to loosen and drop the crossover pipe to be able to remove the pan. Be sure the dip stick is out and try to remove the pan before dropping the crossover pipe on yours, it may come out if your real lucky, I wasn't.
- Remove the tranny filter and discard, you will use new high flow filter supplied with the same screws.
- Remove the Nuetral Safety switch, left side of tranny.
- Remove gearshift cable arm from shaft, throttle cable and electrical connector.
- Remove 10 - 1/4" bolts from valve body as per instructions, there are springs between valve body and case so lower slowly. You will also have more oil come out as it is being removed. You will need to be careful of the electrical connector and shift shaft releasing from the tranny body. As reccomended by local Mechs it is a little tricky but leave the park rod in tranny by removing the "E" clip from the end in the shift lever. You need to switch lever all the way in one direction to access "E" clip but this method can be easier than trying to get valve body with Park rod attached back in.
- Drop the valve body out and have a clean area to work on it.
- Remove 1-2 accumulator and spring. For street plus you use a blocker rod and no spring when putting back together.
- Adjust the bands as per instructions, pretty straight forward. This is one place where you will need the inch pound torque wrench.
- It is a good idea to have couple of old clean tv dinner trays or similar to hold the assortment of screws, steel balls and ect. as you disassemble the valve body. Use only lint free cloths for any cleaning ect.. Do not use shop rags ect.. Big secret is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN...Never use gasoline, kerosene or any caustic solutions to clean components. The mechs reccomend Brake Cleaning spray.
- The next few steps working on and modifying the actual valve body components require careful attention to instructions and shop manual referencing to be sure you thoroughly understand what you are supposed to do in drilling out the holes indicated and channeling the proper locations. All drills and a guide for opening the channel wall is included in the kit.
- When drilling between the channels be sure to drill straight and careful not to go to deep. Tape drill bit, as directed, for thr right depth.
- Be sure to clean, clean, clean all the filing and shavings from all components. One little piece of dust can hang any of a number of moving parts. The kit comes with a special 1-2 governor plug which if used will allow shifting into low gear at any speed. I did not install this plug and used original. I am not sure where this would be of use and could produce serious problems if used wrongly. I would not reccomend using this plug.
- Check the instructions carefully for checkball locations for your desired version of the kit, Street Plus or Heavy Duty.
- The Valve body screws are torqued to 35 inch pounds and evenly.
- Adjust the line pressure and throttle pressure adjustments as per instructions.
- When re-installing the valve body in the transmission take special care of the electrical connector and shift shaft. Lube the "O" rings and seals with vaseline. Re-attach the park rod with the "E" clip, a little tricky, move shift lever all the way to one direction as necessary to access the "E" clip.
- Start the 10 valve body bolts be careful not to kink or pinch the wiring harness. Torque the bolts to 100 inch pounds as per instructions
- Local mechs highly reccommended Mopar ATF Plus Type 7176 as the fluid due to a additive to prevent overdrive unit problems. That is what I used and have had no problems yet.
- Follow instructions on installing the fluid and checking the level. BE SURE to check the fluid in Neutral and not park... Park will not give a accurate reading of the level.
- It is apparently normal to find metal filings and chips in the tranny pan, they are there from the breaking in of the tranny when new. They look pretty scary but I was told they were from normal wear.
- Good luck and don't forget the neck brace.
Contributed by: Bill
Last updated: Sun Jul 20 10:31:09 2003